Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mothers Gone Wrong?

There have been several "incest" stories in the news lately featuring mothers with their adult children, and the circumstances of some of them have raised awareness of Genetic Sexual Attraction. The stories have gone viral, and the way news cycles work means that similar cases will be more likely to make news. That being said, GSA will be happening more. Also, like with any other human interaction, sometimes abusers are in the mix. Abuse shouldn't be tolerated. Consensual social or sexual relationships shouldn't be lumped with abuse.

The vast majority of situations involving consanguinamory, whether flings or lifelong romances, whether initiated through GSA or not, are never brought into the criminal system and never make news. If people think the cases below are the totality of these, they are mistaken.

Along with the objective news articles came much pearl-clutching from the usual crowd of bigots, and even death threats in comments sections spewed at (alleged or possible) lovers and anyone who points out that the pearl-clutchers and finger-waggers have no good reason to deny these people their basic rights.

While these news items no doubt send some people into their masturbatory frenzies even as they say the participants are "sick" and they "other" them and want them in prison, it is good to consider the situations in light of reason. Some people are prejudiced against anything different than what they want, what they have, or what they'll allow themselves to have. But, if we don't treat all adults equally, if we don't take consent seriously, if they don't have their right to love each other how they mutually agree, then all of our rights in danger.

The first case we're looking at in this entry is from Oklahoma, and primarily about a mother who married the genetic daughter she didn't raise. There was a partially-viewable report by Scott Rains at We blogged about this situation already here, but more information came in later. claimed to have "5 Fast Facts You Need to Know" as written by . Their coverage is actually impressively thorough as far as linking to, and quoting various sources about the case.

patricia spann, misty velvet dawn spann
Patricia Spann and her daughter Misty Velvet Dawn Spann. (Facebook/Patricia Spann)
1. Patricia Spann Also Married Her Son in 2008 and That Marriage Was Annulled

So, if these were sexual relationships, it appears she might be especially prone to experience Genetic Sexual Attraction. Some people only experience GSA for one genetic relative with whom they were reunited, even if they are reunited with several.

“He filed for an annulment 15 months later citing incest, stating he was married to his birth mother,” according to a court affidavit obtained by WDSU.
Court records show the 2010 annulment between Jody Spann Jr. and Patricia.
In doing that, he was admitting to what is still a crime, although perhaps he was claiming that he was unaware of their relation?
KSWO-TV reports that Patricia told investigators she did not have a sexual relationship with her son but married “to prevent him from being deployed with the military. She says she married her daughter in hopes of adopting a child.”
If these were truly asexual relationships, then it is unlikely GSA was actually involved. However, these statements may be a way of defending herself from allegations of criminal sex.
Jody was raised by his paternal grandmother, whom he calls “mom” in several Facebook posts praising her for all she did for him and expressing his love for her.
Which means he already had a mother. Patricia was not, socially, his mother.
“Today is twenty years this woman made a decision she thought was for the best which was adopting me my baby brother and sister because of this decision we have become very successful men and women in life today some people think what she did years ago was wrong but idc she loves us and we love her and thank her so much,” he wrote in one post about his grandmother. He married someone else in 2012 and has several children, according to Facebook.
Sounds like he's doing well.
2. The Mother Told Investigators She and Her Daughter ‘Hit It Off’

Patricia Spann told investigators she lost custody of Misty and her other children years ago, and reunited with them two years ago, the Lawton Constitution reports.

The three children, including Misty and Jody, were adopted by their paternal grandmother, the Duncan Banner reports.
Patricia Spann said she and her daughter “hit it off” after reuniting, she told police.
That could be non-sexual, and it could be sexual. People hit if off as friends all of the time.
One of her other sons, Cody Spann, spoke to KSWO and said that he thought Patricia had manipulated Misty, adding, “I think she’s worthless she put my sister into this. She forced my sister into this…why don’t you let that sit on you as a mom.”
We have no way of knowing if Cody's assessment is an accurate one or not. Someone in his position could have many motivations to say something less than true to the news media. But he might be telling a very insightful truth. We simply have no way of being sure, at least not yet. This shouldn't even be a matter for the news media or law enforcement. Adults should be allowed the relationships even if a lot of other people think those relationships are dysfunctional.

3. The Mother Thought She Could Marry Her Daughter Because the Mother’s Name Was Not on the Birth Certificate, Police Say
Patricia Spann told police she’d “looked into it” and she didn’t think she was violating any laws by marrying her daughter because her name was no longer listed on the birth certificate, according to court documents obtained by the Lawton Constitution.

While this is why they were able to get a marriage license, state law still considers the marriage invalid.
The mother filled her Facebook page with photos of her with her daughter. Misty, though, refers to her grandmother as “mommy” in many Facebook posts in which she expresses her love for the grandmother.
Again, the young woman had a social/emotional mother other than Patricia.
4. Court Records Show the Mother and Daughter Married in March
The mother and daughter managed to obtain a marriage license and marry in Comanche County, Oklahoma on March 25, 2016.

You can see the court records for the marriage here.
Let's get to how they were found out...
5. Police Found out About the Marriage During a Child Welfare Investigation
According to KWSO, an investigator with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services discovered in August that the mother and daughter were married. WDSU said a child welfare investigation was being conducted.
The vast majority of sexual or marital relationships between close relatives are never subjected to law enforcement action. Many of the ones that are investigated by law enforcement are investigated because of allegations of child abuse or neglect. In most, if not all places in the US, allegations of child abuse or neglect can be made anonymously; so unfortunately, there is no material incentive for someone to be sincere in their allegations. There is no risk of being charged with filing a false police report, there is no risk of being sued for slander, libel, or defamation. Also, there are people who are "mandatory reporters," such as teachers, who must make a report if they suspect a child is being neglected or otherwise or abused.

The good thing about that is that it helps fight child abuse. The bad thing is that people who want to harass someone or subject them to being busted under unjust laws can make a false allegation. Then,
when law enforcement investigates, they can look for other possible violations of law with the access
they wouldn't have otherwise had.

Consenting adults need to protect themselves.

The news reports do not cite law enforcement as saying there was actually child abuse. That indicates those allegations were likely not substantiated.

Char Adams had a report at
The Oklahoma mother facing incest charges after marrying her daughter allegedly did research into the subject and had been under the impression she wasn't breaking the law, according to a police affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.
When someone isn't aware they've broken a law, they are likely to incriminate themselves by voluntarily talking with the police.
Under Oklahoma law, marrying a close relative is considered incest whether the relationship is sexual or not, the Associated Press reports.
Patricia allegedly told authorities that she lost custody of her three children and they were adopted by their paternal grandmmother. She allegedly added that she reunited with her kids about two years ago and that she and Misty "hit it off."
The cruel double-standard is that they probably wouldn't be recognized as close family for purposes of insurance or next-of-kin rights.
A Duncan Police Department spokesperson tells PEOPLE that despite apparently being separated from Patricia, Misty was allegedly "perfectly aware" that she would be marrying her mother.

The spokesperson says police are "not too clear on" whether the son, Jody Spann, knew he was marrying his mother at the time.
Interesting. In many situations, ignorance of the law or ignorance of having violated the law is not a defense.

at had a piece under the title of "Have you ever heard of 'genetic sexual attraction?'"

"All the evidence would show this is not very common at all," said UCO Associate Professor Dr. Caleb Lack.

GSA is most often a factor when the couple does not know they are related.
It IS common, including when people know they're related.
"It's pretty bizarre, and it's pretty far out there and it's very unusual," said Psychologist Dr. Stewart Beasley.
No, it isn't unusual.
Beasley believes part of the reason the case is so shocking and disturbing is because incest usually involves a parent and a minor child, not two adults or, in this case, three adults, as the mom is alleged to have also married her oldest son years ago.
This is confusing child abuse with consensual adult relationships, which are entirely different things.

Char Adams at reported again on this case...
The son of the Oklahoma mother charged with incest for marrying her daughter alleges the woman was a "predator" who "forced" his brother and then sister to marry her – and threatened to kill them if they did not comply.
Where are the charges of death threats, then?
However, Cody says Patricia reentered their lives in 2007 or 2008, claiming to be a friend rather than their biological mother. Cody says he, Patricia and his siblings spent some time in Texas where Patricia and Jody became close. The two eventually married, but when the family returned to Oklahoma, everyone learned the truth about being related.

"My grandmother looked at my brother and told him that was his mom," Cody recalls. "My brother … said that he wanted to get away from her – that was not what he wanted. And she threatened to kill him. She threatened to poison him."
He says Jody was allegedly "manipulated, forced and threatened" after he learned the truth. He said that after that marriage was annulled, Patricia set her sights on Misty, allegedly threatening her with poisoning and kidnapping if Misty refused.
"My sister was manipulated and scared into this. Was she an adult? Yes she was. But my sister was scared," Cody says.
Maybe this is true, maybe it isn't. Someone who makes such threats should be criminally charged. But the strong implication here is that Jody's relationship with Patricia was sexual, where we don't have as strong as an implication that her relationship with Misty was. Whatever the case, sex between adults is a private mater, and adults should have the freedom to marry. If someone has married another under false pretenses (a fraud against that other spouse), that's a potential civil case, not criminal.
A Duncan Police Department spokesman tells PEOPLE police believe there was allegedly "more than likely" some coercion and manipulation from Patricia but "all indications show that both of the children who married their mother went to the court of their own free will and signed the documents to marry her."

"There may have been some coercion there, but they had the choice and they chose to go ahead and do that," the spokesman says.
The spokesman adds that neither Jody nor Misty ever reported threats from their mother to police.

Cody tells PEOPLE his mother allegedly tried to marry him.

"She only tried that once and I told her to get lost," he alleges. "When she tried coming on to me, I told her that she was my mother. That is disgusting and I would never be with her."

Very interesting. We can see more than one possibility going on here.

Isn’t it disgusting? Isn’t it funny? The woman who fell in love with her son.

But laugh I did not, when I read the tale of Kim West – the 51-year-old who entered a romantic relationship with her child 30 years after giving him up for adoption.
Her story was splashed over the newspapers earlier this year, after she revealed how a reunion between the pair sparked an intense romance.
Remember that?
Across the internet, West and her toy boy lover were treated as circus freaks, called “sick on every level”. Some even demanded that West be sectioned and they even went into hiding fearing a jail sentence.

The front page of the New Day, which broke the story
The front page of the New Day, which broke the story Credit: NEW DAY/NEW DAY
It’s interesting that the public was so outraged, because the couple’s story is far from unique.
This is refreshing to see in the news.
In fact, a number of family romances have emerged over the last decade – and I can’t see them stopping any time soon.
No, they won't. Nor should they. She went on to explain the Oklahoma case.

There have also been cases of grandparents settling down with grandchildren, fathers and daughters in love, and even twins twinned up.
Then she brings up, by name, Genetic Sexual Attraction.
That’s what GSA is: a struggle. When people criticise West, they overestimate her degree of control in the situation. Often GSA sufferers feel powerless – as if their feelings are impossible to change. There have been heartbreaking cases of families broken apart by GSA. It’s an affliction; a curse for all those involved.
I wouldn't use those words for GSA in general. The biggest problem is the prejudice, including in law, against consanguinamorous relationships. There is also the problem of people in happy relationships who feel drawn to cheating.
Evidence from the Post-Adoption Centre and University College London suggests that GSA it happens in 50 percent of reunion cases.
It's not rare.
Those who succumb to GSA are not sickos, or freaks, but victims who desperately need help and understanding.
On that we agree.

Then there was a case out of North Carolina.  Here's a report from
A woman and her son were charged with incest this week by Buncombe County authorities, according to arrest records.
Melissa Nell Kitchens, 44, of Weaverville, faces one felony of incest after warrants allege she had sex with her son Shaun Thomas Pfeiffer, 25, of Arden, in August. He was also charged with one felony charge of incest, according to arrest warrants.
If they were consenting adults, why should this be a crime?

It is THIS that should be the real news...
Pfeiffer faces charges of indecent liberties with a child from an incident that took place Aug. 13, communicating threats, and being intoxicated and disruptive, according to warrants at the Buncombe County courthouse Friday.
Hurting a child is something to be concerned about, not the private sex lives of adults.

Ashley Collman at provided more information.
Melissa 'Missy' Kitchens and her son, Shaun Thomas Pfeiffer, each face a felony charge of incest.
Kitchens was arrested on September 7 and her son, from Weaverville, north of Asheville, was arrested a day later. 
Melissa Nell Kitchens, 44
Her son Shaun Thomas Pfeiffer, 25
Pfeiffer, who is self-employed, also faces charges of indecent liberties with a child, communicating threats and being intoxicated and disruptive.
His Facebook page shows that that he is the father of a toddler son.

Pfeiffer appears to live with both his mother and his wife Shannon Roman in Asheville.

He appears to have posted a picture of his mother online as recently as last month. It is unclear what Kitchens' marital status is. 
It is also unclear how the allegations came to light.
Unless I missed something, we still have no idea what evidence there is, or who reported what. If  Pfeiffer and his wife are going through a breakup, for example, it is entirely possible that he was finding comfort with his mother, drowning his sorrows, and false allegations of him harming a child were leveled, and from that investigation, law enforcement became aware of the consensual adult incest. There could be a long history of abuse here or no abuse past or present. There could be consensual adult sex going on or no thing at all. The relationship between Pfeiffer and his wife could be fine, even great. We just don't know.
In one comment of a picture with Pfeiffer and his son, his mother wrote: 'Can't get over how handsome you are'. 

She also hinted to family drama in the long comment. 

'Just trying To Brighten The Mood---- Things are Very Stressful and I Love You and I Respect Any Decision--- As Long as your Happy and Safe.......... I miss you& wish I had more time w you...... Your Very Valuable and Hopefully The Stresses---- Will get better,' she wrote. 

Shannon Roman, Pfeiffer's wife, also took to Facebook last month, sharing a post that said: 'When you truly care for someone, their mistakes never change your feelings because it's the mind that gets angry but the heart still cares.' 
None of that is specific enough for conclusions.

Mel Ramsay wrote at
Is it just me or does this seem to be happening much more recently?
It is how the news cycle works. This has actually happened all throughout history.
I just don't get how this would ever happen in a million years. But here we are.
Really?!? It's in our ancient stories and has been in literature ever since, but you don't get how this would ever happen?

Even if there was consensual sex in this case, we don't know if the mother and son were separated at all while he was growing up, let alone enough to prompt GSA. GSA or not, consensual (to be redundant) sex between adults shouldn't be a criminal matter.

I'm still waiting to hear a single good reason why consenting adult should be denied their freedom of association, including their rights to private sex and to marry.
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